Atkinson professor to help assess the state of business ethics in Israel

Mark Schwartz, associate professor of governance, law & ethics in the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, has been awarded a research grant and the prestigious title of Johnson Legacy Scholar by the Page Center of Penn State University.

The grant will assist Schwartz in investigating the current state of business ethics in Israel. Despite over 100 Israeli corporations being listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, or AMEX, no formal research in this area has been conducted to date.

Right: Mark Schwartz

To address this gap, Schwartz will conduct an intensive two-part study titled, “Israeli Business Ethics After Enron: Are Codes of Ethics Making Any Difference?”. In the first stage, Schwartz will analyze survey data to determine the extent to which large Israeli corporations have implemented formal ethics programs (which are now essentially a regulatory requirement in the United States). He will focus on whether or not codes of ethics, ethics training, whistle-blowing hotlines and ethics officers have been established and determine the role, significant or otherwise, that they play in day-to-day operations.

During the second stage, Schwartz will interview approximately 30 Israeli executives, asking for their perceptions regarding: current ethical issues faced by their firms and industries; the extent of unethical activity currently taking place; the reasons for unethical activity; differences between Israeli and non-Israeli business ethics; and additional measures being undertaken to encourage ethical corporate cultures. Combining data from both stages, Schwartz hopes to gain comprehensive insight into corporate ethics in Israel while establishing a precedent for further research.

Schwartz currently teaches in the School of Administrative Studies. In 2006 Schwartz received the Atkinson Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research. He has also received teaching awards in the Schulich School of Business, the School of Administrative Studies and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2005 Schwartz was recognized as a finalist in the Faculty Pioneer Rising Star Award by the Aspen Institute and World Resources Institute.

For detailed information on the Johnson Legacy Scholar Grants, visit the Page Center site.